NetGear unveiled a small set-top device at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. The Internet TV player is meant to bring elements of the PC to the TV set — the purpose of this compact, plug-and-play, set-top box is to allow users to access popular websites such as YouTube with a click of a button, and a flick of the remote. This functionality is not limited to YouTube, since more than 60% of video is streamed from other websites. The device can also play live Internet TV, from websites other sites that offer streaming videos. You can also search for video content using vtap — a video search engine. One can use the Internet TV Player to search and watch Live TV or premium content from pay-services, such as BigFlix in India.
Here are the key features of the NetGear Internet TV Player:
- Connect to the Internet and go – you don’t need a computer
- Watch live Internet TV channels from all over the world, including YouTube videos
- Browse popular video Internet video sites for news, sports, and mor
- Search the Internet for video content you want
- Plug in a USB drive and enjoy your pictures, music, and videos on your TV
- Use bookmarks to get right to your favorites
An interesting statistic was shared by Vivek Pathel, VP and GM of NetGear: in the US, over 150 million users (about half the population) watched more than 13.5 billion videos, all in just one month. This number is a 50% increase from the same month from the year 2007. The set-top device unveiled is meant to thus bridge the PC and TV divide and bring web streaming video content to the traditional big screen.
Another major release for NetGear in 2009 is the 3G Mobile broadband router. This router will allow you to create a mobile WiFi spot: just snap in a 3G USB modem into the router and you get yourself a solution that can connect multiple devices to the Internet. While there are only a few metropolitan cities in India that currently host 3G services, as more cities get in the program, we see this taking off in a big way. After all, with only one 3G card, multiple users gain access to a high-speed connection, via this router.
Finally, the company showed us its digital media receiver, the Digital Entertainment Elite Center. This device lets you play digital HD content at 1080p via HDMI inputs. Purported to be the world’s largest digital video jukebox, this device ensures more reliable digital media playback, encoding and decoding, and streaming media files. It supports Blu-ray at 48 MB/s with 1080p and comes with a user-replacable 500GB hard disk.